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|The Moody Blues - days of future passed album cover|
| Days of Future Passed, The Moody Blues' second official album (released in 1967), was their first of what would be a succession of concept albums. It was also the first to feature Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who would play a very strong role in directing the band's sound in the decades to come. Utilizing the London Festival Orchestra primarily for epic instrumental interludes between songs, Days of Future Passed moved the Birmingham band away from its early R&B roots (as displayed on its debut album with soon-departed future Wings member Denny Laine) into uncharted rock territory, making them the early pioneers of both classical and progressive rock.
Originally, the Moodies label, Deram, had wanted them to record a rock version of Dvořák's New World Symphony in order to demonstrate their latest recording techniques. Instead, the band (initially without the label's knowledge) decided to focus on an album based on an original stage show that they'd been working on.
The concept of both the stage show and the album was very simple, tracing an "everyman's day" from dawn to night, from awakening to sleep. The seven tracks spawned two hit singles: "Tuesday Afternoon", which on the album was actually titled "The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)", and "Nights in White Satin" which hit No. 2 five years after the LP's original release. Both remain radio mainstays across various formats and de rigueur performances in concert.
The project was almost doomed to failure as executives at Deram Records felt that combining rock and symphonic music would both alienate rock fans and enrage symphonic fans. The album's subsequent success led to other criticism about implied drug use, especially with such lines as "the smell of grass just makes you pass into a dream" and "those gentle voices I hear explain it all with a sigh." Despite such early criticism, Days of Future Passed paved the way for progressive offerings from other bands and remains one of the Moody Blues' most popular releases ever.
The original packaging credited the orchestral parts to "Redwave/Knight". "Knight" was conductor Peter Knight, while "Redwave" was an imaginary name representing the Moody Blues themselves. (Knight built the orchestral parts around themes written by Hayward, Thomas, Pinder & Lodge). Also, the packaging failed to give titles or credits for Edge's poems "Morning Glory" and "Late Lament".
In 1978 the album was remixed due to deterioration of the master tapes. The original mix, which is generally considered superior, has never seen a CD release. The U.S. mono album (Deram DE-16012) is a highly sought item amongst record collectors.
In March 2006 the album was remastered into SACD format and repackaged as a 2 CD Deluxe Edition.
Original track listing
1. "The Day Begins" – 5:51
* "The Day Begins" (Peter Knight) – 4:08
* "Morning Glory" (Graeme Edge) – 1:42
2. "Dawn: Dawn is a Feeling" (Mike Pinder) – 3:49
3. "The Morning: Another Morning" (Ray Thomas) – 3:56
4. "Lunch Break" – 5:29
* "Lunch Break" (Peter Knight) – 1:53
* "Peak Hour" (John Lodge) – 3:40
5. "The Afternoon" – 8:23
* "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" (Justin Hayward) – 4:48
* "Time To Get Away" (Lodge) – 3:35
6. "Evening" – 6:40
* "The Sun Set" (Pinder) – 3:17
* "Twilight Time" (Thomas) – 3:23
7. "The Night – 7:26
* "Nights in White Satin" (Hayward) – 5:37
* "Late Lament" (Edge) – 1:46
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